Shroom-driven Ethanol

Cindy Zimmerman

shitake Shitake mushrooms are tasty delicacies that are known for their smoky, rich flavor – but they also have another attribute that could help increase the efficiency of ethanol refining. Scientists with USDA’s Ag Research Service are studying the Shitake mushroom’s natural ability to dissolve wood into sugar and they have identified and copied the gene in the mushroom that performs that task.

Called Xyn11A, the gene carries the instructions that the mushroom uses to make an enzyme known as xylanase which the researchers believe could speed up the fermenting process at biorefineries.

The full press release on the subject can be read here.

Ethanol, Production